Council Archives

Keeping Children Safe

Thu 20 May 2004

Timmy believes that Ireland needs a thorough overhaul of child protection procedures and fully supports the fresh approach proposed by Fine Gael that will make it much harder for someone with malicious intent to gain access to children, or to

vulnerable adults, through their work.

Speaking at the launch of the Fine Gael policy document, ‘Keeping Children Safe.’ Fine Gael Spokesperson on Education and Science, Deputy Olwyn Enright has said.

"Childhood is precious, and fragile. The protection of all children is a responsibility that falls to parents, to family, to friends, and to society as a whole.

"On all our shoulders is a special duty to care and protect the younger, and the more vulnerable of any age, within our communities.

"It is a sad indictment of our society that at times when children needed our assistance in the past, we failed them.

"At no time was this more evident than during the regime of abuse and neglect in institutions charged with the responsibility for children, a regime of abuse which was not tackled by the State.

"With hindsight, it is easy to see that there were many gaps in the provisions that we made to protect children from abuse.

"Today, we must ensure that we take every reasonable step to prevent abuse happening.

"We must make sure that where abuse occurs it is not possible for the perpetrator to simply move to another part of the country, and abuse again.

"These days, child abuse has an international dimension.

"The increased mobility of people means that we need greater co-operation within the EU, and farther afield, to combat abuse on an international front.

"But also we must put in place procedures that offer the best protection against abuse in Ireland.

"The Government has failed to implement appropriate procedures to protect children, and vulnerable adults, from abuse.

"This document puts forward proposals on how a framework for child protection could be put in place."